Thursday 15th August 2019

Dream Big, Achieve More ... McGlashan Challenge tests resilience.

McGlashan Challengers
McGlashan Challengers

Mild winter conditions have buoyed college spirits this term, enabling school activities to go ahead unhindered by bad weather.

In early August, we hosted 51 boys from the prestigious Whitgift School in London. We played two games of rugby against the visitors who won both games; however, McGlashan competed creditably, and it was a great occasion despite the chilly conditions. My thanks to the many generous McGlashan families who billeted our visitors.

If you want to see the college at its best, you have to see it on Open Night. The new floodlights on the tennis courts complimented the existing lighting, kilted pipers welcomed nearly 500 visitors, and the Chapel was bustling with anticipation. Our senior students looked sharp and did a superb job guiding group-tours and sharing their experience of college culture. We received some great feedback from our visitors about the vibrant atmosphere and welcoming feel. My thanks to everyone involved; staff, boys and even a few parents, who helped us showcase the college.

Last week, Reverend Barry Kelk and I attended the Presbyterian Church Schools' Conference at Saint Kentigern College in Auckland, a vast school of 2000 students housed over several campuses. Apart from the rain, most of our discussion afterwards reflected on the presentation from keynote speaker Brother Damien Rice about his work with disadvantaged youth, homeless men and women, refugees and Asylum Seekers. Damien's doctorate focused on the sense of self that developed as his young charges engaged with homeless people over an extended period. At McGlashan, we want to make Service real for our boys by embedding it into the curriculum in the future.

The annual Sports Dinner was held on July 4 and was another huge success for the Sports Council. Guest speaker, Cam Calkoen, was inspirational and humorous and set the tone for the evening. Cam spoke to the boys earlier in the day, and they seemed fully engaged by his story of resilience, and his message 'Dream Big, Achieve More'. The dinner raised over $30,000, which will be used for coaching. Tickets sold out within two days.

The Parents and Friends' Association wants funds from the upcoming 2019 Fete to go towards a significant project which most benefits the boys. My recommendation is the establishment of a new Fives Court. During the building of the Davies Sports Centre, three fives courts were demolished, and since then, there has been a gap in our outdoor recreational facilities. Traditionally, Fives has been a long-standing activity at the college and is engrained in its heritage, even boasting a Fives Champion Cup. I would encourage you all to support the Parents and Friends Association with their efforts for the Fete.

Congratulations to Thomas McCracken, Nathan Harrison and Patrick Zhang who recently completed their McGlashan Challenge by biking coast to coast from Fairfield to Haast. These plucky adventurers tested their resilience but also raised a total of $2333.50 for KidsCan who provide support for impoverished children in New Zealand.  I encourage every boy to keep pushing the limits of his ability in every aspect of life just as these boys have done.

We are nearing the end of the winter sports season, and our teams have enjoyed some very competitive games. The first IX hockey team has been especially successful and are in a good position to do very well at tournament later in the term. The team will play Kings' High School in the Secondary Schools' final next Tuesday night. Let's get down there and support them. 

Kind regards,

Neil Garry